Weed legalization is one thing. But legalizing psychedelics… now that’s a whole other ballgame. And yet, there’s news of Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA.
Bill Introduced for Nevada Lawmakers to Legalize Psilocybin and MDMA
The bill introduced for Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA was spearheaded by Sen. Rochelle Nguyen (D). It is primarily made to open doors for the study of psilocybin and MDMA. But it also includes a section that decriminalizes possession and cultivation of up to four ounces of psilocybin.
The measure concerning Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA would allow researchers to apply to study psilocybin and/or MDMA to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Regulators would need to develop rules on criteria for approving applicants.
The research part of the Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA legislation also protects individuals who are involved in the studies, as well as those conducting the trials, from state-level prosecution.
The studies would have to focus on the mental health effects of the psychedelics such as their ability to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other emotional disorders.
Another section of the bill for Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA would legalize psilocybin for adults 18 and over.
It states that possession consumption, cultivation, manufacturing, sharing, testing, and delivery of psilocybin would not be considered. “a violation of any law, ordinance, rule or regulation of this State or any political subdivision of this state.”
It goes on to say that Nevada “has a high prevalence of adults with behavioral health conditions,”. It notes studies showing psilocybin and MDMA to have “efficacy and safety in the treatment of a variety of behavioral conditions.”
“Numerous state and local lawmaking bodies throughout the United States have already enacted or are currently considering legislation decriminalizing certain conduct by certain persons relating to psilocybin and psilocin.”
Other States Taking Legalization Measures
The bill for Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA is not the first of its kind. Many other states are also taking action to legalize psychedelics due to their potential benefits.
For example, lawmakers in Vermont recently filed legislation to legalize and decriminalize psychedelics for adults.
Texas lawmakers filed a series of bills aimed at promoting and expanding the research of psychedelics in the state.
Oklahoma is also getting on board as its House of Representatives approved a bill to promote research on psilocybin’s potential therapeutic effects. It would also offer legal protection to people with an eligible condition who possess the drug.
A Rhode Island committee held a hearing on a bill that would remove penalties for individuals that use, possess, and home-cultivate psilocybin for personal use.
Missouri lawmakers cleared a GOP-led bill in committee this month to promote research into the therapeutic effects of certain psychedelics including MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine.
These are just a few examples of reform bills being considered all over the country.
An analysis published by American Medical Association last year concluded that a majority of states will legalize psychedelics by 2037 based on current trends.
What is Psilocybin?
Those interested in the bill for Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA may wonder what psilocybin is.
Psilocybin is another name for magic mushrooms which are found in nature. It can also be made synthetically as a white crystalline powder that can be processed into tablets or capsules. When it is consumed, the body converts it to psilocin which has psychedelic properties.
The mushrooms can be eaten fresh, brewed in tea, or smoked when mixed with tobacco and cannabis.
When psilocybin enters the brain, it boosts levels of the ‘feel good hormone’ serotonin in the body. It increases feelings of well-being making it a potential treatment for emotional disorders like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, cluster headaches, addiction, and more.
It has the potential to work as a substitute for serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which are often prescribed for depression. But unlike SSRIs which take weeks to kick in, psilocybin produces effects within 30 minutes.
Psilocybin has also been shown to promote the growth of brain cells increasing connectivity between areas of the brain that don’t normally communicate well. Individuals have said it helps them “think more freely” and that it is more effective than SSRIs in this capacity.
The drug comes with its share of negative side effects, so micro-dosing is recommended. An overdose is possible, but a fatal overdose is unlikely. Psilocybin is not physically addictive.
What is MDMA?
The bill for Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA also conjures the question, what is MDMA?
Also known as Ecstasy or Molly, MDMA is a hallucinogen and stimulant. It is a powder most often taken in capsule or tablet form. It is said to promote enhanced feelings of self-awareness and empathy.
MDMA is beneficial to various emotional disorders and especially PTSD. Patients take it at the beginning of a therapy session and then work through their traumatizing experiences. The goal is to get them to associate their memories with more positive emotions.
It should be noted that taking street forms of MDMA may not have the same effects. The drug must be taken in a safe, controlled environment, properly dosed, and used in conjunction with carefully crafted psychotherapy to promote desired mental benefits. Street drugs may also contain unsafe chemicals that can have dangerous side effects.
A review of studies that use a combination of MDMA and therapy to treat PTSD showed that patients were twice as likely to no longer meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis by the end of the trial as compared to those who used therapy alone.
Some patients withdrew from the trial due to unwanted side effects like teeth grinding, jitteriness, headache, and nausea. However, these were not elevated to a concerning extent.
Nevada lawmakers to legalize psilocybin and MDMA is an interesting development, and it is one of the many legislative actions taking place in the country to this end. We can only wait to see where it will take us. Hopefully, these measures will be beneficial for people that require emotional healing.